A variety of nuts

A variety of nuts

Here is a picture of a variety of nuts. These are the result of taking pictures for the website descriptions. There are pecans, shagbark and shellbark hickory kernels here.

The Hickories are pretty uniformly dark brown and with hickories, the color is not an indicator of freshness or flavor. Poor flavor would be indicated by a shriveled kernel and perhaps by a black kernel.

Pecans on the other hand vary considerably in color even when fresh. They can be an almost white blonde or any shade to a chocolate brown. Because of poor handling of shelled pecans through the food supply chain, we mostly see dark, dry, poorly flavored pecans at the store.

Pecans are a perishable commodity. All nuts are. They are living seeds. When held at warm temperatures, the oils become rancid. That is the funky aftertaste of poorly handled nuts.

Fresh nuts and nuts that have been stored refrigerated of frozen since shelling do not have those off flavors. Properly handled, they have a rich, fragrant taste. It is true that if you have never had a fresh pecan, you have never had a good pecan.

I suppose I have gone through this long description to get to the point that dark kerneled fresh pecans are still good. It is their natural color. We shop with our eyes and our past experience. If you are at an orchard and see dark kernels, ask if they are fresh and perhaps try one if allowed. You might be pleasantly surprised.

Just as apples come in different colors and different flavors, so do nuts. The variety of flavors might not be as dramatic but it is there.

As an afterthought, size varies a lot too. Small kernel sometimes have more flavor than larger pecans.

It is not often that one will see such a variety of nuts together unless you grow them yourself. We tend to focus on one at a time. It was a fun day seeing all the differences and nibbling through my work. Good pictures and tasty nuts.